Beginning Monday February 1st, travelers and commuters will be required to wear face masks on nearly all forms of public transportation as part of a new order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). TCU joined with the TTD affiliate unions requesting a mask mandate on all Department of Transportation regulated (DOT) modes.
The importance of mask wearing has been proven to reduce the spread of the virus. And while the CDC guidance is long-overdue – TCU & TTD called for transportation mask mandate last summer – it is a welcome change. It is clear that this Administration’s priority is on keeping working people and the riding public safe from COVID-19.
The CDC guidance states:
“This Order must be followed by all passengers on public conveyances (e.g., airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares) traveling into, within, or out of the United States as well as conveyance operators (e.g., crew, drivers, conductors, and other workers involved in the operation of conveyances) and operators of transportation hubs ( e.g., airports, bus or ferry terminals, train or subway stations, seaports, ports of entry) or any other area that provides transportation in the United States.”
“People must wear masks that cover both the mouth and nose when awaiting, boarding, traveling on, or disembarking public conveyances. People must also wear masks when entering or on the premises of a transportation hub in the United States.”
The guidelines allow for a handful of exceptions. Children under the age of two won’t be required to wear coverings, and neither will anyone with a disability who cannot safely wear a mask. Otherwise, the order says passengers and operators are required to wear their masks at all times except “for brief periods,” such as to eat, drink or take medications.
The agency said that operators must “at the earliest opportunity” remove any passenger who refuses to comply with the mask order. Anyone violating the order could face potential criminal penalties.
Click here to read the TTD letter sent to the DOT.
Click here to read the release from the CDC.